Lower School Distance Learning

The Moses Brown lower school promises to continue to support a learning community that honors our mission in our changing world. Even in this time of distance learning, relationships and care come first; these are not only central values of a Moses Brown education, but also necessary in order for our students to learn.

We are striving to balance structure and flexibility, consistency and creativity, in ways that let your children continue to grow and learn and hope to use screen time intentionally and meaningfully. We’ll seek to balance these pieces and ask for feedback from students and parents so that we can make adjustments as needed. We ask that you partner with us as part of this process.

After April 13, MB’s lower school is moving to a divisional schedule that is different from the daily schedules to which your children are accustomed. We have prioritized creating schedules that are sustainable for students, families and teachers for the duration of our school closure, while helping students to remain engaged in learning and in our MB community. These schedules are shared in the division-specific sections in the Distance Learning handbook sent to parents. All schedules are on a Monday–Friday 5-day format to allow easier integration with other family schedules, and for families with children in multiple divisions.

The goals for the Lower School distance learning plan are to keep children engaged so they can learn and grow, while also providing them with meaningful opportunities for connection and community.

Lower school students will need significant oversight from their parents, and with that in mind our goal is to be as flexible as possible with expectations and grading.

Please know that we want to partner with you for your child’s success, learning and happiness; if that means that a student cannot complete their work on a given day or days, just let us know so that we can support the student.

The lower school day starts at 8 a.m. with Morning Meeting and Synchronous Learning and ends at 3 p.m. with Closing Circle.

More information

Synchronous Learning for Lower School Students
Academic Subjects (Math, Language Arts, Social Studies):
2-3 synchronous experiences per week per content, 25-30 minutes
1 synchronous experience a week, 15-30 minutes screen time per student

All assignments for the day will be posted by 8:00 p.m. the evening before unless a teacher has scheduled a synchronous meeting time later in the day to explain the assignment.

Students will continue to meet and work with learning specialists in music, Spanish, science, art, library, tech and woodshop. See handbook for schedule or confirm with your child’s teacher or the lower school office. Physical education classes will not hold synchronous class meetings; students will be expected to complete assigned work in their free time.

We encourage students and teachers to think of assignments as “daily work”—to break down the division between classwork and homework.

Parents will need to check their email daily for LS learners.

If your child is struggling or there is information that would be helpful for faculty to know, please share with us.

Younger students may need more support from adults in addressing their assignments— and we realize those adults may be also working from home or have other responsibilities. It is important to us that we understand how best to support your children’s learning, and to help problem-solve when it needs to happen differently. Please communicate with your child’s teacher, advisor, OJ or Debbie about how best we can adjust the learning experience to respond to your particular circumstances.

Distance Learning
Synchronous learning refers to activities when students and teachers are engaged in the same activity at the same time, in real time, mostly likely through video connection or an on-line chat (advisory/ circle time or Meeting for Worship or community meetings). Asynchronous learning refers to activities that happen outside of a defined time: independent assignments, reading, problems, etc. For families—particularly of younger children, especially in these early weeks—asynchronous work will require more parental supervision, and we understand there will be days when this is not possible, given other family obligations. Let us know when a student needs more time or cannot complete an assignment; we’ll work together to find a solution.

General Guidelines for Parents and Guardians
• Help your child establish a schedule for their days.
• For younger learners, print (or draw!) a grid of their weeks and marking times during which synchronous class is planned.
• Encourage students to work independently and allow that there will be challenges, failures and struggles along the way.
• Ensure that students have access to supplies for learning. (Please contact OJ if you need help obtaining supplies or devices.)
• Communicate with the school.
• Maintain a sense of school community.
• Encourage healthy habits to limit stress.
Reminder: as MB utilizes technology for distance learning, parents are reminded that many of these products have the ability to capture video and sound within range of the camera and microphone within your home or anyplace your child uses this technology. Please be mindful of your child’s use of these technologies and protect your family’s privacy while classes are in session.

MB’s school nurses will be available for questions and concerns in their “virtual offices.” Alice Brady in lower school is available 8:00am–12:00pm via email or phone and Barret Clarke from 12pm–3pm. Lower school counselor Krista Haskell is also available during regular school hours to “meet” with students and/or parents in need of a check-in for emotional support and/or support with managing time and study habits. Reach out to her by email to set up a time and method for connecting: khaskell@mosesbrown.org.

Lower School Student Responsibilities
-Establish a daily routine for your schoolwork
-Find a comfortable, distraction-free place in your home where you can work
-Complete all daily assignments and put forth your best effort; if you don’t finish, that’s okay
-Abide by our Quaker values in all that you can
-Communicate with your classroom teachers and the learning support team as needed

How Can Lower School Parents Help?
To help make the most of this situation, parents can help by establishing routines and expectations, establishing beginning and end-of-day check-ins, helping students create a comfortable, distraction-free place to work, monitoring communications from MB, partnering with teachers and reaching out should any challenges arise, helping students plan out their work and checking in to keep them focused, helping students turn work in, taking an active role in student learning, providing opportunities for students to play and move, reaching out to counselors and learning support as needed, monitoring screen time, setting rules around technology and being a supportive partner of teachers and the school.

Have a question about your child’s distance learning?
Debbie Phipps, Assistant Head for Academic Affairs Lower School (email)
OJ Martí, LS Division Head Middle School (email)
Krista Haskell, N-6 counselor 7-12 Counseling (email)
Grant Henderson, Director of Technology (email)

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